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REI sweepstakes scam ... and the origin of 'pulling your leg'

REI sweepstakes scam ... and the origin of 'pulling your leg'

(Scams) Permanent link

If you receive a letter in the mail saying you've won $150,000 in REI's "Consumer Promotion Drawing," don't quit your day job or start planning an elaborate outdoor adventure. It's just a scam from a criminal trying to pull your thermal leg warmer.

REI contacted our office and issued a news alert after consumers in several states reported receiving letters along with fake checks for $3,800. Like similar pitches, this one works if consumers cash the check and then send money to cover the "Non-Resident Government Tax" allegedly owed to a "British Tax Officer." The cons apparently weren't too smart since REI isn't a British company; it's located right here in Washington.

Fake check scams are rampant right now. Remember, you don't have to pay to receive a prize.

Tangent: By the way, in case you think I'm making light of a serious situation with my leg warmer pun, do you know the origin of "pull your leg"? According to one story, the cliché has a criminal background. Thieves in London used to use wires to trip their victims. A conspirator stole the victim's valuables while the person was down on the ground.

Posted by Kristin Alexander All Consuming Blog Moderator at 09/25/2009 04:40:59 PM | 


My daughter received mail from Australian International lottery Prize Release Center which apparently was mailed from "Royal Mail" advising her she won $2,500,000 in cash and it was credited to an account under her name BUT must be kept confidential and away from publicity to avoid unwarranted abuse of the program or fraudulant act from criminals and unauthorized individual. - How many people in Washington State are receiving this notice; where would they get her name etc. They have listed a contact person and a phone number to call. Would you check this out to stop it. Further information can be supplied to you.
Posted by: Marjorie C. Wood ( Email ) at 10/6/2009 4:41 PM


I recived a ltter from the Australia International Lottery Prize Reelase Center. They claim i have won 4.3 million dollars. It to was sent from Royal Mail system. So my wife and I called and they stated we were to either come to London to pick up the check , have sent to us via a FEDEX delvery person and pay them $350 for the deliveryor have it trnsfered to my bank account for and pay $100,000 for the transfer. I ended the call stating that I would call back later in the week. I spoke to my bank about this and they stated it did not sound right. I have thought about taking the letter to NCIS here NAS Lemoore and showing them the letter. I can provide at copy of the letter to the US Attoney Genral's Office if need be.
Posted by: Shawn Runnion ( Email ) at 10/26/2009 6:58 PM


I got the same mailing. What is this. The money sounds good if it were true. What do we do about it, all of us get together and demand our winnings. They got intouch with us. I had no idea this was out there. I did not play any lottery in London.
Posted by: Rosalie P ( Email ) at 11/3/2009 10:34 AM


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